USFL Football League

March 15, 2022


32 of 35 USFL Officials in NFL Development Pipeline,

Ready to Officiate Football at the Highest Level

All-Inclusive Official Crews Boast Strong College Experience

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 15, 2022 – When the new United States Football League (USFL) kicks off its inaugural season on April 16, it will feature 35 experienced, talented, and diverse game officials. Most (32) USFL officials are currently in the National Football League's (NFL) Officiating Development Program (ODP) that provides opportunities for college-level officials who are ready to advance to professional football.

The USFL will have five crews of seven officials (referee, umpire, down judge, line judge, field judge, side judge, back judge), with two crews each working two games on any given weekend. Strong backgrounds in College Football are represented as 33 of the 35 USFL officials have worked in Power Five Conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12, and SEC). The all-inclusive USFL officials’ roster is also noteworthy, including 16 people of color and four women.

"The USFL will have the best officials not currently in the NFL,” said Mike Pereira, USFL Head of Officiating. “Our association with the NFL Officiating Department clearly serves the USFL by supplying officials who are ready to call games at the highest level, and it also benefits the NFL by providing professional game experience for those who are just a step away from working Sundays in the fall. In fact, I expect several officials calling USFL games this spring to officiate in the NFL later this year.”

NFL ODP participants study position-specific film with veteran NFL officials and current officiating instructors, review NFL mechanics, and analyze the differences in rules between NFL and NCAA. In addition, ODP officials attend the NFL's annual preseason officiating clinic, participate in NFL mini-camps and training camps, officiate in an NFL preseason game, and work an NCAA post-season all-star game (Reese's Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine Bowl, HBCU Legacy Bowl, or NFLPA Game).

“We are excited about the opportunity the USFL provides potential NFL officials in our development pipeline,” said Walt Anderson, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating. “Similar to what we had in NFL Europe for many years, our association with the USFL allows us to observe college officials in an environment that uses NFL-related rules and mechanics. This process is invaluable as we improve the development and promotion of professional football officiating.”

Anderson and his staff of NFL officiating instructors will hold a 3-day clinic (April 6-8) in Birmingham for the following 2022 season USFL officials: